Older consumers face travel insurance problemsUpper age limits cause angst for older travellers

21 May 2011

Plane at sunset

Go on holiday prepared with a travel insurance policy

Holidaymakers aged 65-plus are facing increased problems getting travel insurance, according to research from Which? Money.

The vast majority of travel insurers impose an upper age limit on travel insurance, meaning many people are unable to find adequate cover for while they are away. Which? Money found that 86% of policies had a maximum age limit, while only 29% of policy providers would cover the over-80s. 

Over 65, but not out

Swiftcover, whose adverts feature Iggy Pop, won't cover new customers who are aged 65 or more, which is bad news for the former Stooges singer, who turns 65 next April. Even where travel insurance is available for older people, Which? Money discovered that premiums invariably rocket once milestone ages are reached. An annual policy with Essential Travel, for example, would cost £59 on the eve of a prospective customer's 66th birthday, but £206 the next day. 

Access to good travel insurance for all is a must

Accessibility is another problem. Just 40% of over-65s use the internet, where the best deals are to be found. Which? is working with the insurance sector to ensure that premiums are reasonable and justifiable. We have also been part of a HM Treasury group looking into access to affordable insurance. 

HM Treasury Committee member and Which? senior researcher Dan Moore explains: 'Older people have every right to expect affordable, quality travel insurance cover. It's ridiculous that premiums can rocket just because the customer is one day older. Hopefully the Committee's findings will find their way onto the statute books and reward rather than penalise responsible tourists.'

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